MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Rockies vs. Cardinals: Expect Cardinals to Score at Will (Thursday, August 18)

MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Rockies vs. Cardinals: Expect Cardinals to Score at Will (Thursday, August 18) article feature image

Ed Zurga/Getty Images. Pictured: Nolan Arenado

  • The Cardinals are obviously a much better team than the Rockies, but there's no value in the moneyline.
  • Our analyst dove into the numbers and found an alternate way to attack this matchup.
  • DJ James shares his best bet below.

Rockies vs. Cardinals Odds

Rockies Odds+192
Cardinals Odds-235
Over/Under7.5 (-120 / +100)
Time1:15 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Colorado Rockies' Antonio Senzatela is an abysmal starting pitcher, and on Thursday afternoon he will take on Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals. Wainwright has been extremely fortunate this season as his xERA is over a point higher than his ERA (4.30 vs. 3.27), but he has been serviceable because of his ability to limit hard contact. He ranks in the 58th percentile in Hard-Hit Rate and the 53rd percentile in Average Exit Velocity.

Senzatela is far worse. He ranks in the 21st percentile in Hard-Hit Rate and the 14th percentile in Average Exit Velocity. He has been lucky with a 4.67 ERA because his xERA is a paltry 5.22. Yes, he is pitching predominantly in a hitters’ ballpark, but this is not a viable excuse because his road ERA is 5.50 and his home ERA is 4.08.

St. Louis has also crushed right-handed pitching in August, so taking their team total over (opposed to an expensive moneyline) is the correct call in this battle.

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Colorado Rockies: Can Senzatela Slow Down St. Louis?

Senzatela owns a 3.79 ERA in three August starts, but context matters as he has faced the Arizona Diamondbacks in two of those outings. He is yet to face St. Louis, but this should not matter all too much.

The Cardinals rank third in August in wRC+ off of righties (138) behind only the Dodgers and the Padres. Only Juan Yepez is on the Injured List, so the Cardinals are healthy at the moment, too. St. Louis' entire lineup has an xwOBA over .300 off of righties in August and nine of them have a .350+ xwOBA. Only Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols and Corey Dickerson are under the .300 mark, so they should feast off of Senzatela. In addition, nine Cardinals' hitters are averaging at least 89 mph off the bat with a righty on the bump this month. This does not bode well for Colorado pitching.

In fact, Colorado ranks 27th in MLB in bullpen xFIP at 4.59. No one out of the ‘pen has a sub-3.00 xFIP, either, so they have absolutely zero lockdown relievers of late. Look for the Cardinals to push across a few late inning runs as well.

St. Louis Cardinals: Will Wainwright Spin Another Gem?

Wainwright seems to be Mr. Consistent at the age of 40. Still, his luck has to run out at a certain point, even if it does not happen in this game. Yonathan Daza, Elias Díaz and Kris Bryant are on the IL for the Rockies and only four Colorado hitters have a xwOBA over .330. This is a complete contrast between lineups and a reason to potentially avoid betting the over, even with a loaded Cardinals' batting order.

The Cardinals have also been about league average out of the bullpen in August with a 3.69 xFIP. Chris Stratton, Jake Woodford and Giovanny Gallegos all have an xFIP under 3.00. Colorado may struggle piecing together runs late because Wainwright has the ability to pitch deep into games before handing off to the bullpen.

Rockies-Cardinals Pick

The Cardinals are the far better team in this game, but a -220 opening moneyline is steep and avoidable. Colorado has trouble with righties at the helm and Wainwright will provide the Cardinals with a solid start. His luck will catch up to him eventually, but it may not in this outing.

Take the Cardinals team total over 4.5 (-105) and play it to 5 (-130). Colorado’s pitching is terrible and Senzatela is one of the Rockies' worst starters — that's saying something.

Pick: St. Louis Cardinals o4.5 (-105) | play to 5 (-130)

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